Home » Here’s The Best Car Just Parked On The Street At Monterey Car Week So Far

Here’s The Best Car Just Parked On The Street At Monterey Car Week So Far

Citroends Vert
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Being in Monterey during car week is, for those of us interested in cars, like taking a little vacation from reality. The usual rules of How The World Works are flung out the window with ruthless abandon and a bit of glee, and the hole that’s left is just filled with cars. Amazing cars. Just driving around, whizzing by, getting stuck in traffic, all the normal stuff. They’re doing what Corollas do except they’re rare, stunning things you usually see online or perhaps in a museum. What I want to show you now is what is so far my favorite car-sighting of a car not actually being displayed, not in any concurs or auction, but just out on the street. After day one, the car I have to pick is the one you see up there: a Citroën DS Décapotable by Chapron.

Look at that thing! It’s like a shark, only sleeker and with better conversational skills. We all know the incredible, way-ahead-of-its-tie Citroën DS, but the convertible versions (called Décapotable in French, a word that probably has something to do with guillotines) were a far more rare thing entirely. Built by coachbuilder Henri Chapron, only 1,365 were made between 1960 and 1974.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Chapron Ds

There’s Heni himself with a DS Décapotable at the Paris Motor Show in 1961. Im not sure how I feel about those wheel covers, though.

I have a runner-up for Best Car Just Seen Around as well. Look at this:

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Escort

A British Mark I Ford Escort! These things are incredibly rare in America, and are completely at odds with what most Americans picture when you say “Ford Escort” to them, which, if they’re even old enough to remember, something about as exciting as a drywall sandwich on wheat bread, hold the mayo.

But the British Escorts were different! Little RWD coupés (and wagons) that were sporty and quick and had great styling, simple, appealing little cars just dripping with charm, and probably oil, sometimes.

Here, this old Escort commercial that might be a representation of that hippie’s drug-induced vision sums it up pretty well:

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I’ve barely been here a day, and, again, these cars are just driving around. Surrounded by McLarens and Lambos and Maseratis and so much more. This place is bonkers.

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TriangleRAD
TriangleRAD
11 months ago

Torch, I can introduce you to a local guy who does own a rather exciting US-market Escort. ’93 Escort GT, Mazdaspeed turbo, coilovers, last dyno’d at 287 hp to the wheels – and the AC and cruise still work.

Parsko
Parsko
11 months ago

Jason, this is not how you get invited back, ya know.

Bizness Comma Nunya
Bizness Comma Nunya
11 months ago

The DS convertible might be the worlds most beautiful bathtub, seriously a work of automotive art.

I feel like it’s one of those convertibles that if you aren’t a picturesque looking human, you can’t drive it around. You are only allowed to stare at it while parked.

Last edited 11 months ago by Bizness Comma Nunya
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
11 months ago

Fuck that!
I’ll take my chances with the judges. Am I a picturesque looking human?
Maybe maybe not.
But I’m damn sure gonna feel like one behind the wheel of that automobile with the top down.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
11 months ago

Right?
Altho it does give me the vibe that a pretentious cap & silly scarf are required uniform for piloting it.

Sbzr
Sbzr
11 months ago

really gorgeous DS although I guess any of the work to make the cx lower just got completely lost when they converted

Fjord
Fjord
11 months ago
Reply to  Sbzr

I mean, they are height-adjustable so you can pretty much pick whatever height you like.

Marteau
Marteau
11 months ago
Reply to  Fjord

On the contrary, there is only one driving position.

Noahwayout
Noahwayout
11 months ago
Reply to  Marteau

All Citroen DS have hydraulically adjustable ride height. It was a selling point for rough French country roads.

Marteau
Marteau
11 months ago
Reply to  Noahwayout

What i mean is they have only one driving position out of 5 different height position, 2 other are useful to drive on certains terrains, but not meant to be used all the time. The higher and lower one are meant to be used for storage and maintenance. It creeps me out to see people (usually americans) try to drive their car on the lower or higher position, for the clout, and then complain the suspension is shit or broken, read your user manual.

Sbzr
Sbzr
11 months ago
Reply to  Fjord

sorry, I meant drag coefficient, I forgot the word for the term

Fjord
Fjord
11 months ago

Pretty sure that’s a friend’s car. He’s been posting pics of his trip down from the Seattle area all week. I suppose there could be a couple baby blue Charpons in town but what are the chances?

Kuruza
Kuruza
11 months ago

I wish I could speak to this year’s experience (Astons on the Avenue is winding up in Carmel *right now*) but last year was a gob of fun. To borrow a slogan from 24 Hours of Lemons, car week isn’t just for rich car nerds, it’s for all car nerds. The only event we had to pay to enter was a day at Laguna Seca, and that was more fun than an amusement park and hardly more expensive. As the Citroen above shows, all you need is a day or three and comfortable pair of shoes to experience a peninsula-sized cars and coffee.
-“Best” car I saw: A 250 GTO street-parked uphill (probably/possibly a replica, but in Carmel, who knows?). Fluffy little dog warming the driver’s seat. Tires not curbed because if that’s your situation, the interest you earn on the fucks you don’t give is constantly compounding.
-Coolest car I saw: The Totem GT Super (a tires-up modern interpretation of an Alfa GT) just tooling around Seaside like something from an alternate reality, and then later up close at the exotics show there. The level of craftsmanship was astounding.
-Coolest truck we saw: A Glickenhaus Baja Boot, sitting outside a hotel. Only the fenders were visible as we drove nearer and my buddy remarked that “The fenders on that Jeep are ridiculous.” I could see it a little better from the passenger seat and said “That’s no Jeep.” We got a better look after dealing with the ticket he got for rolling through a stoplight because that wasn’t the red thing we were fixated on.
-Most interesting vehicle I saw: A VPG MV-1. Walking back to my car from the Seaside exotics event, I caught a narrow glimpse of what looked like a lemon-colored Honda Element in a fenced-in lot. “But that’s not an Element. That looks like one of those weird taxi van concepts…” And it was. It’s still visible on Google Maps, squeezed in behind a shed next to another yellow taxi van.
Just an example of the sort of stuff you can see without any price of admission other than the costs of getting – and possibly staying – there.

Last edited 11 months ago by Kuruza
Mike F.
Mike F.
11 months ago
Reply to  Kuruza

OK, so the big question is where and how does one get a hotel room somewhere within a hundred miles or so?

Marteau
Marteau
11 months ago
Reply to  Mike F.

Slept there, there is plenty of cheap paperwall and bleached motels on one street, the higher up the street the cheaper i guess you can book in advance. Mine was 45$ a night.

Captain Muppet
Captain Muppet
11 months ago

Oh my!

Gorgeous.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
11 months ago

Enjoy your rich people show. Make sure you eat lot’s of cake!

Chronometric
Chronometric
11 months ago

Monterey Car Week is absolutely a must go for every car nut. One time I stopped at a grocery store in Pacific Grove and when I came out my boring rental car was flanked by a Fiat Dino and a Jensen Interceptor!

Mike F.
Mike F.
11 months ago

Saw that photo and thought, “Holy shit – it looks like some sort of Citroen convertible, but such a thing could not exist!”. Damned if it doesn’t exist – just gorgeous!

Cuzn Ed
Cuzn Ed
11 months ago

Seriously, though. The mere standard-issue DS is a thing of eye-catching delight.
But i’d never seen one after its date with the national razor, and now i’m all covetous up in here.

LTDScott
LTDScott
11 months ago

You’re totally right that going to Monterey Car Week is just a whole different realm. I got bored with the number of McLarens driving around but happily discovered some oddball gems like you did here.

Kuruza
Kuruza
11 months ago
Reply to  LTDScott

Yup. Last year we joked that purple GT3s were the “the beige Camry of car week.” We saw at least three distinct examples in one day.

Last edited 11 months ago by Kuruza
Cuzn Ed
Cuzn Ed
11 months ago

I thought, “Wait, is Patrick Jane at Monterey?? I’ve often wondered what he’s been up to since he married Lisbon and disappeared to the country.”

But no, of course not – everyone knows he drives the hardtop.
Duh.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
11 months ago

As a car obsessed child I remember that every single Citroen I saw IRL utterly blew my mind. Like they were from an alien species.

Exotics, luxury, and muscle cars always drew my attention, but those French cars were just next level to my young eyes.

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
11 months ago

God that is magnificent.

Cerberus
Cerberus
11 months ago

Last time I saw one was at the Crane Estate in Ipswich, MA. I saw the guy with the goofy laugh from Revenge of the Nerds while I was checking it out. He was with a tall blonde. Also saw the drummer from Aerosmith. My mother spotted him with his peroxide hair and pirate clothes and said, “That guy is my age! What does he think he is still dressing like that—a rock star?”

Mark Tucker
Mark Tucker
11 months ago

You’d think all the rich folks would get nervous when the French start decapitating things…

Dudeoutwest
Dudeoutwest
11 months ago

That Mark 1 is a regular on the NorCal Breakfast Club Rallies. It gets driven as intended, as well. It’s delicious.

Arch Duke Maxyenko
Arch Duke Maxyenko
11 months ago

Is that not a European market Escort being LHD?

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
11 months ago

Probably. They sold about a bajillion of them on the mainland. I can’t honestly say if it’s a real RS2000 though. I don’t think the stripes or fenders are quite right.

Nathan Williams
Nathan Williams
11 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

Isn’t that one of the Mexico stripes? Although not a Mexico so guess they just liked the stripe (and I agree)

Boulevard_Yachtsman
Boulevard_Yachtsman
11 months ago

So, so, so drop-dead gorgeous. I own two of these at the 1/18th scale level. One blue and the other in reddish orange. Sun Star did a nice job on them, even including an adjustable suspension. I have yet to even see one in real life at a show or museum, let alone just parked along a curb out in the open. Amazing!

MAX FRESH OFF
MAX FRESH OFF
11 months ago

Quelle magnifique déesse!

Larry B
Larry B
11 months ago

Seriously, you have to warn me about Citroen DS pictures. Especially, the decapitated ones! NSFOF (not safe for old farts)!

OrigamiSensei
OrigamiSensei
11 months ago

I never knew there was such a thing as a convertible DS, and wow, is that a beauty!

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
11 months ago

Did you write this post from scratch? Seriously, that DS is elegant.

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
11 months ago

I grew up down there and my old office was just down the street from Laguna Seca. During Car Week you could hear the cars coming in. There is no need to pay to attend any event. There are so many free events and even just walking around you see so much. Last year I had to parallel park between a new Ferrari and a classic Ferarri. Can’t wait for Concours d’Lemons on Saturday.

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